Thanks guys. I'm geeked for 4E and I am firmly convinced that once the license issues get sorted out that we can absolutely bring and old school feel of play to the 4E rules. We did it with 3E. We can do it with 4E.
In fact, I happen to think that monster design and encounter design in 4E will restore some of the 1E feel that 3E lost.
First, monster design. Much easier and much more fun. Its no longer like a math problem with 4E. Scott Greene and I are loving it.
Second, the number of monsters you face. In 3E you had to majorly scale back on the number of monsters fought. Basically, 3E presumed about 12-15 level appropriate challenges (meaning, individual monsters or other challenges that earn XP) for each member of a party to increase a level. If what we are hearing from 4E is correct, it is about 10+ "encounters" in 4E to level, with each encounter meaning 5 or so level appropriate monsters. So 4E is back to 50 orcs to make 2nd level, unlike 3E which had it down to about 15.
Plus, fighting gnolls just never gets old
I have to also say that I am glad to see people support the idea that having other avenues of adventure and other views of how to play D&D actually makes them MORE excited and makes them consider adopting 4E. I think that is really important. Wizards is an awesome company. But they just cant speak to every possible purchaser. My hope is that Necromancer can connect with those old style gamers who want content that has an older school feel but uses the new rules. I know for a fact this is true. I cant tell you how many times people emailed me after the 3E launch and said "we werent going to even try 3E. it didnt look like the kind of D&D we wanted to play. but we downloaded your free adventure and that got us started." Or "we had no desire to get into 3E but I saw the Tomb of Abysthor or Tome of Horrors in the store and said 'hey, there is someone who knows what I like about D&D. my group picked up 3E and never looked back." Heck, I still get emails like that.
Hopefully we will be able to do the same for 4E because I like what I am seeing.
Will there be things abotu 4E that bug me? Of course. There were things about 3E that bugged me too. Some of those things I came to love. For instance, I HATED cyclical initiative when 3E came out. Now, I cant imagine playing any other way.
The bottom line is that D&D is about growth. Always has been. Gygax and Arneson put it out. Then they expanded it. Grew it. Changed it. They put ot Greyhawk supplement. Blackmoor. Eldritch Wizardry. Added attributes. Added percentiles. Added races. Added classes. Made classes into races (back in the day, elf was a class!). Added artifacts. Added levels. Added psionics. Then came AD&D and its changes. Then 2E. The history of D&D is change and growth. If it wasnt, we'd all still be playing PCs with only STR INT & WIS.
So change is good.
And roll initiative!